Please note that this post about the health benefits of turmeric is NOT intended to be taken as medical advice! See your doctor for any health issues you may be having!
Several years ago I got a muscle spasm in my shoulder that just would not go away. No coincidence, I’m sure, that it was around the same time I started blogging. Despite medication, physical therapy, and massage, that muscle spasm is STILL there and has now created a whole host of other issues as well. I am trying desperately to get rid of random pains that range from my feet and knee all the way to my neck and back. It is slow going, especially since I don’t like to take medication. Anti inflammatory meds are not without risk so I started searching for holistic alternatives. One such supplement I came across at my health food store boasted turmeric as it’s major ingredient. Turns out that the stuff you put in curry and that gives mustard it’s bright yellow color is also incredibly good at reducing inflammation.
I do notice that the supplement I take helps a little bit, as long as I remember to take it regularly. Which I don’t because I am bad about taking pills daily. When I was at the Korean farmer’s market the other day I came across the odd looking substance shown above and was shocked to see that it was turmeric! I honestly do not think I have ever seen it outside of a jar in the spice isle. I figured if the supplement helps, maybe the tea would help even better! Nothing beats fresh for active health benefits, right? I grabbed some to bring home and started doing a little research for turmeric tea recipes. I didn’t come across any definite tea ingredient suggestions. Seems like most people just add in herbs and spices that are specific for ailments that bother them particularly. So, here is what I chose for my turmeric tea and what it is (in theory) going to help with:
- Turmeric: anti inflammatory
- Black Pepper: improve circulation
- Cinnamon: helps control blood sugar
- Ginger: Helps settle upset stomach
- Nutmeg: anti inflammatory and pain relief
Turmeric is actually a root of the Curcuma longa plant. Both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine use it as a powerful anti inflammatory. It has a peppery, warm and slightly bitter flavor and a very mild smell. Sometimes I just grate it fresh into some green tea, other times I make the tea with the ingredients above when I am feeling ambitious. So, the big question…is it doing anything? I really think it is helping. It has only been a few days and I am trying to drink it twice a day. You need to steep it in hot but not boiling water for about 10 minutes for the most benefit with least damage to active ingredients. Every person is different so you can adjust the additional herbs and spices depending on your tastes and personal health needs.
PLEASE NOTE: This turmeric tea recipe is not exactly what I would call tasty! For those of you who are new to herbal and therapeutic teas, let me just say that the ones that taste the worst are the teas that work the best. If you are looking for TASTY way to include turmeric in your diet, learn how to make curry. This tea isn’t horrible but not something I would beg to drink a whole pot of! You are looking for health benefits, not so much a delicious sipping beverage. Also, invest in a microplane grater to make grating fresh roots and such easier. I sweetened this turmeric tea with honey and added a splash of coconut milk. Sweeten and add creamer as desired when you make your own.
Turmeric Tea Recipe
- 1 tsp fresh ground turmeric
- 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
- 1 tsp course black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces hot but not quite boiling water
- 1 tsp honey
- splash of milk, coconut milk, soy creamer or your choice of milk type product.
- Add all the herbs/spices to a glass bowl and pour the hot water over them.
- Let steep for 10 minutes
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth into a mug
- Add honey and milk as desired